Birchwood BOOST!

Can you imagine the impact we could have if we set our intention to make a difference each and every day on the critical issues that affect us all—issues such as food, social justice, and climate change? That’s why we’re launching Birchwood Boost—a new community partnership program that will allow us to collaborate with values-aligned local non-profits in such a way that our entire community can engage in the good work they do every single day.

Good work often takes place behind the scenes and it’s our dream that Birchwood Boost allows our little cafe to become a big venue, putting these organizations center stage to share their mission with a new audience. By highlighting Good Real FOOD as a solution, we aspire to engage more people in a culture of service and good real citizenry to create positive, lasting change. There are many ways you can be a #GoodRealCitizen and #BoostForGood! We will co-host events with our partners and provide you with real, face-time opportunities to meet these people and hear first-hand about their work. Our partners will present information and action steps that you can take to make a difference. Our servers will invite you to round up at the register to “Boost” these organizations—pocket change, just like our individual action steps, has the power to add up! You can also buy a ticket to a Booster Club Dinner in our Community Room for an inspiring evening of Good Real Food and special guests. Together, we can start a ripple effect that expands far beyond our plates and into the broader world.

Climate change is a critical issue that impacts everyone. I wish all presidential candidates agreed! Fortunately we saw big steps last December during the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Paris. President Obama addressed it in his State of the Union. Even the City of Minneapolis has adopted a Climate Action Plan! Still, many of us are asking, “How can I, as an individual, address climate change?” To begin, we recognize that we all eat and our individual food choices do impact climate; nearly a third of greenhouse gases are a result of growing, shipping, cooking, and disposing of food. Since our re-model, we’ve added more energy-efficient equipment and solar panels, and we’ve expanded our local sourcing, yet we know there’s much more to be done.

Climate GenerationEnter Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy and YOU! Climate Generation, our February/March Boost partner, is a local nonprofit that works to educate and empower people to engage in solutions to climate change, with a unique focus on engaging youth. They believe that climate change is defining today’s generation, and we agree. We chose Climate Generation as our inaugural Boost partner because we want to better understand the connections between agriculture and climate change—and because we want to DO something about it! We love their efforts to address climate change from diverse angles, including climate literacy and climate justice: areas where climate activism and social justice intersect.

Boost funds raised for Climate Generation will support their 11th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, to be held at Macalester College this June. The Institute provides middle & high school teachers state-of-the-art climate change curriculum and classroom tools. In addition, Climate Generation’s YEA! MN program (Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota) encourages high school students to take action, build leadership skills, and engage in social justice and climate policy campaigns. You’ll meet some of these teachers and youth leaders at an upcoming Boost event (see below)!

We’re excited to support Climate Generation’s efforts in & out of the classroom. Together, we’ll learn what steps we can take to #BeTheChange we want to see in the world!

With love and gratitude,
Tracy & the Birchwood Cafe crew